Root of Rebellion

October 14, 2009 at 9:11 pm (Articles, Attitudes, Godly Living) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Posted by Abigail

root of rebellion

With the great response to “Identity Crisis“, I thought you ladies might enjoy a peep into the past–a look at the literary outcome of my first Identity Crisis, when I was about sixteen.

There it is again: those horrible feelings of rebellion, that I seem completely unable to stifle. The “I don’t care what my parents think, I don’t want to do it!” is back in full force, and I can’t seem to quench my snotty attitude. I love my parents—I really do—but this is more than I can handle! I’m just so sick of obeying!…Why?

In the midst of such feelings the tears come, and in the desperation aroused by my frustration and depression I beg the Lord to show me my sin. Where could I have gone wrong, that such emotions could gain a stronghold in my heart? Am I wrong to blame my parents? Am I wrong to seek my own way?

I want to share with you an answer to my perplexing questions—a cause for my strange feelings of dissatisfaction, the result of these feelings, and a solution to my frustration with my parents. These emotions are not the natural result of my parents’ actions. They are not caused by tyranny, overwork or flustering requests. They are caused by myself—in reality, they are the product of my own imagination.

Let’s begin with the cause. Rebellion starts with dissatisfaction—a dissatisfaction with myself. I am not pleased with who I am. Whether or not my frustrations ring true, I have come to feel that I am inadequate in some way.

I may be dissatisfied:

  • With my appearance—I feel ugly, fat and unattractive. My face is broken out, my hair is straight and limp or frizzy, my nose is too long.
  • With my wardrobe—I feel out of place in modest clothing, my outfits don’t fit well, or they simply do not flatter me. I am frustrated trying to find cute, comfortable, modest clothing that doesn’t look old ladyish and isn’t miles too big; I envy others around me.
  • With my personality—I feel insecure, unconversational and uninteresting, I feel like a dead-beat, a bore. I feel like I simply don’t fit in—anywhere.
  • With my intelligence—I feel stupid and slow. I am a failure: I just don’t have it. Others expect more of me than I can give; others are smarter than I am.
  • With my talents—what talents? I am not actually good at anything. I try, but I simply have no time to work at or practice anything because my parents…whoops! Feeling a little rebellious am I?

Lastly, when I have become entirely dissatisfied with myself, my life, and anything else about me, I become unhappy in my spirit because I am starving it. But what stands in the way of my changing these areas that I feel unsuccessful in? Shall we say my parents, and the fact that I don’t run my own life? I can’t just turn the house topsy-turvy because I wake up in the morning feeling ugly.

And my parents? “Honey, you look fine!”

Ok, so I’m not so pleased with myself. Now let’s move on to step two—link this all together, and explain what the result of disatisfaction is! How in the world do “fat days” affect my obedience to my parents?

I have noticed, that when I am not satisfied with myself, it becomes very difficult for me to believe that anyone else is satisfied with me.

I hear “Honey, you look fine” but I know she is thinking, “Well, you really ought to lose about 10 pounds, and I don’t know what we’ll ever do about your acne! I really wish you would bring your math scores up, and stay on top of your chores, and your attitude stinks. I think you need to get right with the Lord.”

“I already know that, now would you just shut up!” I feel attacked, before my parents even say anything, because in my mind I am already defeated.

I am a failure. I have failed my parents.

I am a loser—a rotten loser. How could anyone like me? How could anyone enjoy spending time with me? Why would anyone want to put up with me?

I can’t do anything right. My family must think me a burden. I’m just a hump on a log, a disgrace to mankind. <sniff>

I haven’t stopped loving my parents. I haven’t lost a desire to do well, to please them, to honor them.

I have merely given up.

I’m beat. Striving for success feels pointless. I can’t please my parents! Why try? I can’t succeed in anything! Why try? I can’t please God! Why try?

And all she said was “You look fine.”

She never expressed any dissatisfaction with me, or anything I had done. I imagined it, and the insecurity washed over me, causing the rebellion spring up.

It’s just not fair! I try to please them—they don’t care! Think of all the things I do, yet I get scolded for the one tiny responsibility that I happen to forget. It never ends—the same jobs over and over again, and nobody ever thanks me, nobody realizes how much I do! I am so sick of trying to be good! I am so sick of myself! I am so sick of this place! I am so sick of everything I do! I am so sick of my family! I just want out of here!

Like a slow burning fuse, the bitterness builds up until I snap.

And everyone stares at me in holy horror.

I can’t help it! I just feel ugly today!

Is it it possible that maybe I can help it? I believe there is a solution, if I will accept it.

But what can I do? I didn’t plan the rebellion. I didn’t want to explode. I don’t even know where these feelings came from! I’ve been submissively trying to cut out my rebellion, haven’t I? I’ve crushed it down every time it tried to rise, haven’t I? I haven’t been trying to nurse resentment, have I? So why in the world can’t I conquer myself?

There is a reason—a good one, even. I can’t cure my problem, because I am attacking the symptom, not the cause. Every time a weed of rebellion popped up, I cut it down. But the root of bitterness and dissatisfaction continued to grow. Rebellion will come up again in other areas, and I can keep cutting it out, but the root will keep growing until it explodes. I need to attack the root, and the first step is locating it.

Thankfully, I now know where the problem lies, due to much prayer and fasting. This doesn’t mean that stamping it out is easy. There are many things about myself that I am unable to change—ever.

  • I will never be taller than God intended me to be. I can’t change the shape of my face, or the build of my figure.
  • Modesty is a must, though my culture makes it very difficult and awkward.
  • My personality is there—it is my identity. I can hone it, but I can never change it.
  • My intelligence has a limit. I can work hard, but I will never be a genius. It just isn’t there.
  • If I just don’t have certain talents, I just don’t have them!
  • I can’t change the unchangeable.

But I can be yielded. I may not be satisfied with myself through the eyes of the world, but I need to remind myself who I am through Christ.

Why would He love me? I can’t see a logical reason, but He does. He sees the future, and he will perfect me…in His time.

Basically, my rebellion boils down to a lack of trust. I am not trusting God to work through my parents. I am not trusting God to complete what He has begun. I am not trusting God to change me. I am not trusting the God who made me.

I simply need to shift my focus from what I can’t do, to what He has done, and the weed will wither and die—from the root up.

The rebel can submit.

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  1. Twitter Trackbacks for Root of Rebellion « Pearls and Diamonds [] on said,

    […] Root of Rebellion « Pearls and Diamonds – view page – cached With the great response to “Identity Crisis”, I thought you ladies might enjoy a peep into the past–a look at the literary outcome of my first Identity Crisis, when I was about sixteen. — From the page […]

    • Annabell said,

      wow Abigail that’s exactly what I’ve been struggling with this past month and I regret that I didn’t see what you have just showed me. I attempted to just kill the rebellion and let the dissatisfaction linger. Thank you very much for posting this. Very eye opening.

  2. Maiden Princess said,

    Very good and VERY well written. Thank you for your honesty. And thank you for touching a topic that seems to be affecting so many today. Below is a study that I did on respecting your parents a while ago that also involves rebelliousness. Take a look and let me know what you think! I think I will also post this on my blog as a reminder to other to submit themselves to God alone! Even in rebelliousness their is submission. Submission to our “own will” which is then submission to Satan, who works through the guise of “our flesh” or our “sinful nature”. We must remember to submit only to God the people He commands us to submit to.

    Have a lovely day!
    Because of His Grace,
    Maiden Princess

    Respecting your parents—

    Exodus 21:17 ” And he that curseth* his father or mother shall surely be put to death.”

    *7043: Make light of, bring into contempt, curse, depise.

    Proverbs 23:22 “Hearken unto thy father that begot thee, and despise not thy mother when she is old.”

    Proverbs 23:26 “My son, give me thine heart, and let thine eyes observe* my ways*.”

    *H5341: Perserve, guard
    *H1870: a course of life or road of action

    Dueteronomy 5:16 Honor* thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee; in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

    *Honor- promote, boast, glorify

    Proverbs 1:8 ” My son hear* the instruction* of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother.”

    *Hear: listen to, obey, understand
    * Instruction: chastisement, correction, discipline, rebuke

    Proverbs 4:1 ” Hear ye children the instruction of a father and attend* to know understanding.”
    * Attend- prick your ears, hearken, incline, give heed

    Our parents are wise and we should willingly accept their advice and commands.


    Proverbs 30:11 ” There is a generation that curseth their father, and doth not bless their mother.” (hmmmm…sound farmiliar?) For me this verse is an encouragement to keep on honoring and obeying even when it’s hard. I do not want anyone to use this verse to describe me! Would you?

    Dueteronomy 21:18-21 ” If a man have a stubborn* and rebellious* son, which will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother, and that when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:”
    * Stubborn- To turn away, backsliding, revolter
    *Rebellious- To be bitter, to rebel, to provoke, disobey, be grievous

    1. resisting control or authority; “temperamentally rebellious”; “a rebellious crew”
    2. discontented as toward authority [syn: disaffected]
    3. participating in organized resistance to a constituted government; “the rebelling confederacy”


    Why is rebellion such a problem in this country today? Simple!
    We give into our desires to rule ourselves and not be ruled by God.
    So then if we aren’t ruled by God or the parents he has specifically
    put over us then who are we ruled by? Satan! Isn’t that kind of a
    scary thought for those who are supposed to followng God. Bondage
    to God (through whom he uses parents to guide us in His will) is truly
    freedom! Wouldn’t you agree?

    Proverbs 3:12 “For whom the Lord loveth He correcteth; even as a father the son in whom he deligheth.”
    Our parents correct us because they love us…it may be painful at some times but that is the best kind of love!

    Proverbs 17:11 ” An evil man seeketh only rebellion: therefore a cruel messenger (angel in Strong’s)
    shall be sent against him.”

    Again evil associated with rebellion….seems to be a common thread!

    Isaiah 29:13 ” And the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people this people draw nigh unto me, and with their mouth and with their lips to honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me and their fe ar of me is a commandment of men which hath been taught them;”

    We have to be careful as well to not develop this attitude with our parents. Honoring them with our lips but are our hearts are far from them. Our hearts should want to obey, honor, and respect them and if they don’t then we should be praying to God to show us why and ask Him to help us fix that problem!

    • Pearls and Diamonds said,

      Wow Maiden Princess! What a lot of study you put into that! I was very convicted by the Lord’s words to King Saul “Rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft”–which Saul later adopted as well! When our spirits are not subject to the Lord they are open to temptation, meddling and interaction from the enemy!

  3. Gretchen said,

    Abigail! What a fabulously written article! I am so proud of who you are. I love you! Thank you for sharing your heart and your honesty. This is so wonderful to read because I am a parent and want to help my kids with their rebellion but have not known HOW. Have never thought about why we are rebellious…why especially as teenagers we all get rebellious. You are a gem.

  4. åslaug abigail said,

    This is neat =)
    I needed to read this. Thanks for being honest, thanks for posting.
    åslaug abigail

  5. Pearls and Diamonds said,

    For those of you who may have read my testimony on our Jesus Tales page, this writing fell into the time period between Christ’s triumph over my eating disorder and the time that I confessed to my parents and sought their accountability. I find it interesting to look back and see the progression of what the Lord was doing in my heart…

    And ladies, Gretchen and her brother were the cousins my siblings and I all thought were so cool when we were the baby cousins. We still are the baby cousins. 🙂 She just started her own homeschooling journey, so visit her blog and shower her with encouragement!

    Abigail @ Pearls and Diamonds

  6. A Sweet Fragrance » Blog Archive » Monday October 19, 2009 said,

    […] 4. Dealing with the Root of Rebellion. […]

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